Archive for the ‘Wallingford’ Category

St. Casimir’s Polish National Church (1916)

Sunday, June 4th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Wallingford | No Comments »

St. Casimir’s Church, located at 240 Quinnipiac Street in Wallingford, was established in 1914. The church affiliated with the Polish National Catholic Church in October, 1916 and soon erected a wood-frame church at the corner of Prospect and Quinnipiac Streets. A fire in 1945 destroyed the original steeple and floor-to-ceiling pipe organ. Some years later the exterior of the building was bricked.

Thaddeus Cook House (1758)

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Wallingford | No Comments »

The large house at 1640 Tuttle Avenue in Wallingford was built in 1758 by Col. Thaddeus Cook (1728-1800). As related in Charles Henry Stanley Davis’ History of Wallingford, Conn (1870), Thaddeus Cook

was born in that part of the town now embraced in the township of Cheshire. On the breaking out of the war of the Revolution he entered into the service of his country; was made Colonel of his regiment, and was under the command of Gen. Gates during the memorable battle at Saratoga in 1777, and greatly distinguished himself as a brave and skillful officer. He died in Wallingford, Feb. 28, 1800, aged 72 years.

The Colonel’s Orderly Book, which preserves a notable order from Gen. Benedict Arnold, is in the collections of the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Mass. Thaddeus’ grandfather, Samuel Cook, was one of the original settlers of Wallingford and the family owned a large amount of property in town, which extended into what would become the town of Cheshire. Cook Hill Road is named for the family.

Theophilus Jones House (1740)

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Wallingford | No Comments »

Theophilus Jones (1690-1781) moved to Wallingford in 1711. He built up his farm property and c. 1740 built a house on Cook Hill, in the southwest corner of town, now 40 Jones Road. His son, Theophilus Jones, Jr. (1723-1815), continued to amass land and was one of the few residents of Wallingford who owned slaves. Three more generations of this wealthy family would farm the property until it was turned over to tenant farmers and then eventually sold in 1914. It continued as a dairy farm until 1937, when it was acquired by Charles F. Montgomery (1910-1978), a leading authority on American decorative arts. He undertook the restoration of the house and lived there until 1950, when he left Wallingford to become a curator at the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum in Delaware. He was appointed the museum’s director in 1954. In addition to the Jones House itself, the site in Wallingford has a number of outbuildings, including a woodshed and a barn, carpentry shop, carriage house and cider mill complex, all original to the farm. There’s also an icehouse and a pigeon house, moved to the property by Montgomery from Middletown.

Wallingford Bank and Trust Company (1931)

Monday, May 1st, 2017 Posted in Banks, Neoclassical, Wallingford | No Comments »

Wallingford Bank and Trust Company was incorporated in 1916. The bank acquired a parcel of land at the corner of Center and William Streets in Wallingford in 1930. An existing brick building on the site was razed and a new bank building, designed by Harper & West of Boston, was erected there the following year (see “Wallingford Bank Lets Contract For $100,000 Building: Work to Be Started About January 1 At Center and Williams Streets,” Hartford Courant, December 13, 1930). The entrance to the building was originally on the corner, at the street intersection, but this was converted to a window at a later date and a new entrance was built (possibly an extension of the original building) on the Center Street side. The bank merged with the Connecticut Bank and Trust Company in 1962 (the merger came close to not being allowed because it eliminated one of the few banks in town and made CBT the second-largest bank in the state). Today the building is a branch of Bank of America.

Most Holy Trinity Church, Wallingford (1887)

Sunday, April 30th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Gothic, Wallingford | No Comments »

The first Catholic Mass in Wallingford was celebrated on December 22, 1847 in the home of James Hanlon on Main Street. Wallingford became a mission of St. Rose of Lima Church in Meriden in 1851. Services were soon held in Union Hall. As described in the 1895 Souvenir History of Wallingford, Connecticut:

The necessary funds for building of a church were soon after raised, the subscription list being added to liberally by the Protestants of the town. The first church was a building forty by sixty feet in dimensions, the corner stone of which was laid November 23, 1857 the ceremony being performed by Rev. Thomas Quinn. Before the building was completed, during the saying of mass, part of the unfinished floor gave way, resulting in the injury of several persons and causing great confusion.

The church was completed in 1859, but the new Holy Trinity parish would again become Meriden’s mission because of the decrease in members with the outbreak of the Civil War. Holy Trinity was restored to full parish status in 1867 and the cornerstone of a new church (68 North Colony Street) was blessed on September 24, 1876. Quoting again from the Souvenir History:

In 1875, the old church having become too small for the growing membership, ground was broken for a new edifice. On account of the scarcity of funds, progress was slow in the building of the new church, and while in an uncompleted state, in the summer of 1878, the old church was completely demolished by the tornado visiting Wallingford at that time, thirty members of the congregation being included among the citizens who perished thereby. The following year the new church had become so far completed as to admit of services being held in the basement, the present edifice, however, was not completed until 1887. The church property is among the finest of the State. The church is of cuneiform shape and a brick structure, 148 feet in length and 104 feet in its extreme width. From the floor to the apex of the roof the height is nearly 50 feet. The windows of the edifice, presented to the church, are marvels of art. Connected with the church is a handsome parochial residence[.]

Former Wallingford Public Library (1899)

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 Posted in Libraries, Neoclassical, Wallingford | No Comments »

Old Wallingford Library

The Wallingford Public Library was first organized in 1881 as The Ladies’ Library and Reading Room Association. In its early years, the library occupied space in several locations, including the Wallace Block and the Simpson Block. The library was able to move into its own building through a bequest of Samuel Simpson (1814-1894) in memory of his daughter, Martha DeEtte Simpson (1841-1882). He donated land at 60 North Main Street, $25,000 for construction and $20,000 for an endowment fund. The cornerstone of the building, designed by Wilson Potter, was laid on September 21, 1899 by Margaret Tibbits, Samuel Simpson’s great-granddaughter. That same year, the library became a free library. In 1958 membership was opened to men as well as women and the name was legally changed to the Wallingford Public Library Association. An addition was constructed in 1931 and the building was extensively renovated in 1962, but the need for more space led to the construction of a new library at 200 North Main Street in 1982. The cornerstone for the new structure was laid by the same great-granddaughter of Samuel Simpson, Margaret Tibbits Taber (1891-1985)! The former library was converted into office space. The current owner is considering future uses for the old library.

Porter Cook House (1789)

Friday, April 19th, 2013 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Wallingford | 4 Comments »

Porter Cook Homestead

At 38 North Elm Street in Wallingford is the Porter Cook House. As recorded in Porter Cook‘s diary (and quoted in the WPA report on the house):

In 1789, Octrober 3, Saturday my new house on Lower Town St. was raised. Samuel Doolittle of Pond Hill hued and fraimed the house, and Timothy Carrington and his son Lemuel clapboarded and shinggled the house. Col. Isaac Cook dighed the sellar wall, Zebilon Potter of this town near Tyler Cook’s East, North of this Town, made the brick. Trobridge and Jordan of New Haven put up my chimney, topt it of in eight days. (Up to Oct. 29, 1790, Bill Brout in and settled $17.00) Captain John Mansfield of Wallingford did the inside work, with them and Abel Mansfield, son to John Mansfield.

A farmer, Cook donated land for Union Academy in Wallingford in 1812.